Thursday, March 31, 2011

Courtship, for the love of it XX

Today I have the final result for you of the embroidery part of the connection symbol. Many hours I laid the embroidery silk on the cotton. The result is just lovely. Now I have to find myself some yarn and start knitting. Four panels of 40 x 40 cm need to get a cover. Since I haven't started knitting yet, it will take some time before it will be ready, so you'll have to be patient. After that I will cut the cotton and sew the embroidery piece on the knitted panels.

 Time to say good bye to the theme Courtship, for the love of it. 

An epilogue is in the making but I hope you enjoyed this journey so far.

Have a beautiful day with a loving smile.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Patterns at the beach

 Patterns on the beach.

Have a wonderful wednesday.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A new challenge

Most of you know that I also participate in the blog A sustainable life. On that blog I wrote a piece called Clothes anyone? The research for this story was a lot of fun and led me to all kinds of blogs and flickr-accounts. The flickr-account of Melanie was the most attractive one for me because it gave me a sense of hé I can do this too. 


Now the thought was a lot easier than the process I have to admit even though we are just talking about a scarf. Anyway, in the picture above you can see how I cut the sleeves into rectangles and stitched them with a running stitch together again.


Than came the hard part. I had to use my sewing machine. This sounds probably ridiculous and it is ridiculous. I have a sewing machine for about 8 years I guess and if it has been outside its box twice than that is a lot. This gives you some indication of my skills!!!! But I did manage to get it all stitched together, don't ask about the amount of time I used, and this is the result so far.

What is left is that I have to put the cuff on the scarf and sewing the black linen backside on it. With a little bit of luck, just one day of work. Keep your fingers crossed and you may see a machine sewed piece made by me after all.

Have a great day with a learning smile.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Patterns in the street

If there is a need to blame anyone for this slight pattern addiction it is Karen of Stitching life. Since she started writing about patterns I see them everywhere. 

You already got a large dose of patterns in the snow.

Today I have a small serie of patterns on the street.

 Enjoy your day with patterns that make you smile.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The fourth and final installment of post 500

(this is the backside)

For the 500th post give-away I made something especially for Spud. Spud asked for a small piece with the colours yellow, orange, turqoise and bright greens. She wanted some embroidery, knitting and crochet.
Luckily I had all colours in my stash of embroidery threads except for turqoise. So instead of turqoise I incorporated 3 different blue's.


The first four rows are variations of the running stitch done in 4 different shades of green and 4 different colours from yellow to bright orange. The fifth row is a green french knot. The sixth row is bullion knot, the seventh row in the dark green is a  knippesting. (danish name) The eight row is a chainstitch. The nineth row in orange is a split stitch, in row no. 10 you'll find a coral stitch. The bright orange is a millefleur stitch (danish name) and the last two rows are made in a blanket stitch. Had a little extra fun with these two rows because I took from each colour on piece of thread and combined it to a new thread.
If you happen to know the english names for knippesting and millefleur stitch, please let me know.

(detail picture)

Here you see a detailed picture with all the different stitches. It was great fun for me to make this little one, some golden oldies and some new stitches combined in colours I don't use that often. It looks like a garden to me.

Since Spud is a very talented photographer and you can see her pictures here, they are just perfect. If you would like to see what Anneli, Julie and Karen won, just click on their names.

The celebration of this milestone have come to an end. Time to start working to the next one: no. 750!!!!

Have a fantastic day with a colourful smile.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Courtship, for the love of it XIX

There are so many projects laying around to be finished, oh my, oh my. This is one of them but I'm almost there. In the next post I will show you a finished embroidery piece. Promise.

But for now it is just an update of the work I did while burning the midnight oil at my office!!!!

Have a fabulous start of your day. Enjoy yourself, share your beautiful smile and the world becomes a better place.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


As I told you yesterday in the interview, Jude, Julie and I will go to a fiskerimarket to sell our handmade items. Since the prize needs to be on the textile paintings I decided to make some collages and cut them up in cards.

This way an old calender got a new purpose, easy to make and they will serve with the sparkling colours perfectly for the purpose and fits in with the theme as well. Is there more I could wish for?

No, I don't think so. Have a beautiful day filled with a happy smile.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The longest post ever: The interview

Today will be the third installment on the celebration of post 500 with the forfillment of Julie's wish. Julie gave me 5 questions to answer. Now since this will, without a doubt, be the longest post ever I suggest you first get a cup of tea or coffee and sit down comfortably. Julie's instructions: i'll only give you five, but i want you to give good, long answers to them! Here are the questions:
1.  you make so many lovely things all the time, why don't you have an etsy or big cartel shop?
2.  what is your favorite thing about living in denmark? and your least favorite thing?
3.  if you were going to start a revolution, what would be your cause?
4.  you do a lot of embroidery series to explore a theme. how does this work for you and your creativity?
5.  you read blogs widely and explore the vast expanse of the internet - how do you process all of that information/inspiration and how does it manifest itself in your work?

Now I could just answer each question and move on to the next one but I chose to take a slightly different approach.  Here we go:

As a young girl I started knitting, crochet and embroidery like any other girl at school. This caused my teacher some grey hair because I didn't stick to the instructions but she didn't complain too much because I always made my assignments in my own way. For a very long time most of the things I made were for others. If I considered someone a friend they were very likely to get a handmade present on their birthday or at other special occasions. The making process was always a very special time for me but I realized that my efforts weren't always noticed by the receiver.

(a reproduction of some of my crochet mistakes)

Now most of you know that I'm Dutch and moved to Denmark 5 years ago. Denmark wasn't a stranger to me. I lived on another danish peninsula before and spent many holidays here. Each time it was the landscape that attracted me. Both times I ended up on an island because I love the beach, it is my favorite place because of all its movement and peace at the same time. Clean air, the blue skies, a friendly landscape, the four seasons (although at the moment I am done with King Winter), the sense of having space without feeling lost in the landscape. All of this attracts me time and again.

My isle in spring

Unfortunately the landscape and the natives have not that much in common, seen from my perspective. My least favorite encounters are the large blocked doors I keep knocking on. Like others, I find it very difficult to make contact with Danes. My danish isn't perfect, I'm probably a bit too outgoing for danish standards and I don't fit in with the latest boxes of cool. All of this and their closed nature doesn't lead to a happy social environment but I don't wish to become a Dane and therefore have to accept that I am on the outside.
found on the internet

Still I am a social human being in need of some social interaction. Luckily I met the very talented and kind-hearted Elsita online. She talked me into starting a creative blog after seeing some of my work. I didn't want to make just presents for others anymore. I wanted something that was even more meaningful and over time my perspective on my creative endeavours changed. This time I wanted to make objects for me, special momentums that held more meaning for me than anyone else.

My inspiration can be almost anything, I read a lot, visit blogs on all kinds of subjects, feed my visual beast on flickr, visit musea and train my mind and body with taekwondo. I am interested in all kinds of subjects. The fact that I read about embroidery doesn't dismiss my interest in the new social structure made by people in Detroit or my need to listen to the different topics on Tedtalks or to read about how a person creates a lifestyle that fits him or her. I am passionate about music in all its forms but want to learn more about sustainability too because we only have one planet to live on. Communication, co-incidences, synchronicity, beliefsystems, poetry, following my interests, I crave it because that is, for me, the way to become all the woman I can be.  The best offerings are given by surprise. I am just a happy girl if the world offers me something that I didn't know I needed.

Some of you already asked a few times how do you process all of this? That isn't too difficult. An open your mind and heart and a desire to feed myself are the basic ingredients. By sharing my links I get feedback and the learning process continues in that way. Human beings have a large capacity to absorb information. What I do is trying only to absorb the information which is beneficial to me. So I might not know about the latest trend in fashion or the insides on the wars around the world. On the other hand I did stumble on and got as one of the first the new book of Jan Messent Celtic, Viking &Anglo-Saxon embroidery and a chance to discuss the science essay Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience peak emotion to music with a friend. It is just a choice, like so many we make each day.

As soon as a topic keeps showing up, I'm drawn to it or it simply keeps me pre-occupied it is a sign to start travelling with it. For instance with the project Changing the landscape. Over the years I have visit numerous burial grounds, read about them, helleristninger kept on appearing and than after our visit to Norway and seeing so many of rockcarvings it becomes more or less a natural thing to do.

(helleristninger/rock carvings in Norway)

At a certain point I got such an overload of stories about Detroit and the ideas behind the various aspects that it resulted in a new collaborative blog on sustainable living. This blog gives me a chance to travel a different path and a new outlook, a different way to explore.
courtesy of Mother Earth News

The shoebox I made after seeing an fundraise exhibition in which there were beautiful shoeboxes in mixed media but none were made with textile. I took it as a challenge and made my blue shoebox. And than ofcourse there are these thoughts/ideas which keep swirling around which can lead to a project like the Book of Worlds.

The project Magnificent windows was started by a few seconds in a documentary. Since there is wide variety of ways to start a project it is fair to say that almost anything can become a project. In each project I need to explore and I want to add something to my creative toolbox. A stitch, a way of drawing, different fabrics, a symbol, ... In that way my skills expand and therefore my next project might turn out even better. I love to think about communication and all the different aspects and layers in this, if anything that is the red thread in my work.

Now if someone would like to pay me to do my creative work I would accept it with the largest smile on my face and I don't mind sharing the yield of my time. A shop is probably the most obvious way to travel. What is needed to start a shop on-line with the potential to become succesful? A large following on-line or network, a blog that serves as a shopwindow and an account on Etsy, Big Cartel or .... Now do I have a large following? No. Why not? Probably because my work isn't controversial and I don't wish it to be either. I'd rather start a revolution on accepting and being in peace with oneself as a step to peace in the world than to start another controversy.
What more attracts a lot of people? Well, sex sells and I do like the variety the Karma Sutra is offering, unfortunately I have absolutely no desire to embroider the different positions. In other words I haven't found the instant winner topic which has the interest of a large group of people and me. Ofcourse I could start a shop anyway and spend a lot of time forcing a breakthrough with a variety of marketingtools but I'd rather do what I love and tell you about it. 

One of the things I would like to tell you is that in a few weeks I will be on a fleamarket with Jude & Julie in Sønderborg. I agreed to do this because I love to hang out with these two ladies. Would you like to meet us? Come to the Forårsmarked at fiskerihavnen in Sønderborg on the 9th of April. It starts around 9.00 in the morning til about 12.00 o'clock. (Lets's hope for some sunshine and no wind otherwise we become three icecones.)
In case you can't come to the market but you're licking your lips,  there is a lump in your throat and you're not able to swallow it or your heart can't stop racing, your knees feel wobbly and you notice a pair of sweaty palms when you see a piece of art you longed for but didn't know it until this moment, just write me. Tell me why this particular piece is the one you want and need to give a new home. It is very likely to become yours after all and if I ever start a shop, you will be the first to know. I promise.

Now time to wrap up this interview. Thank you for visiting and reading this long post. Julie thank you for your questions and friendship. Have fun today while starting a new week filled with smiles.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Meandering through natural patterns

Since the series on Courtship, for the love of it is slowing coming to its end I started to see what kind of story I would like tell in the weeks to come. Therefore I picked up my art-journal and started with some ripped paper and pasted them in my art-journal.  Just a first small step in deciding where I want to go to, in which way to travel.

Do you have some inspirational destinations?  Please let me know.

Have a lovely start of your weekend and let the ripped paper make you smile.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Courtship, for the love of it XVIII

Time flies when you are having fun and since my evenings flying by with the speed of a Stealth you know I am having fun. Today I can report that the first layer on the second part of the symbol is almost done with the Bayeux stitch as you can see in the picture. Can you see all my smiles?

What makes you smile these days?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An almost wordless wednesday

A conversation stuck in my head.

Enjoy the silence with a knowing smile.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Courtship, for the love of it XVII

Yes, the second part of the connection symbol is coming along nicely. Last night I finished the most difficult part of it, putting the long threads on the cloth is a bit tricky if you ask me. Still the finishing of this part leaves me only with a few more nights of embroidery on this symbol, sigh, while I am writing this I wished it was embroidery time.

First I need to shorten my to do list for today and run a number of errands. My love has to wait and be patient just a little bit longer.

Have a fantastic day and show the world your beautiful smile.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Forfilling a wishlist

Last monday my post no. 500 was written and I asked: ''Why don't you tell me this week what you would like to have, what you would like to know or what you would like to see and I'll see how many wishes I can forfill. A beautiful wishlist was created and I decided to forfill every wish.

Zuzana and Mary wanted me to continue blogging. This wish is very easy to grant since I have no plan of stopping.

Karen and Anneli both asked for stones in a jacket or a dress. Since I made plenty of them as a part of the serie Changing the landscape no worries there either. These stones will be sent to their new homes later this week.

Spud asked for a piece that had knitting, crochet and embroidery in it with the colours yellow, orange, bright greens and turqoise. A new piece is made just for Spud and I finished last night, since I don't want to spoil the surprise I'm not gonna show it before it arrived at its new home but I have to say I'm quite taken by it.
The last wish came from Julie. Julie wanted an opportunity to interview me. Now I have no idea what kind of questions I haven't answered so far on my blog in one way or the other and therefore I play along since I want to know her questions.

Have a great start of your week and thank you all for playing along.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Courtship, for the love of it XVIII


The clothposter is finished. I made an attempt to photograph it in the style of the famous Spud, the generous lady who photographed Soul Food at Blog Camp. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 

Have a fabulous day while you court life with your loving smile.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The last leg of winter

Spring Will Come

Spring will come despite the rain—
wild mustard and garlic a tangled skein
of yellow and white; forget-me-nots
on hillsides and in puddling ruts
misting in drifts of blue.

Mothwing petals sift past quince,
blooming bare-branched beneath
the plumed plum. Despite the rain,
despite the pain—or is it from,
or through? Prepositions don’t matter;
spring will come.

Rebecca Foust  

Have a great day with a new smile filled with promise of renewal.